Next year's Beauty and the Beast will be telling the same tale as its 1991 animated predecessor, but don't think that means it will be an exact duplicate. As with any good remake, there will be certain changes, like new songs, new characters and altered appearances. One of the more interesting changes, however, comes in a clever alteration to the movie's female protagonist, Belle. In addition to remaining a bookworm, the new Beauty and the Beast has also made her an inventor.
In the animated movie, it's her father who is the inventor, and we actually co-opted that for Belle. I was like, 'Well, there was never very much information or detail at the beginning of the story as to why Belle didn't fit in, other than she liked books. Also what is she doing with her time?' So, we created a backstory for her, which was that she had invented a kind of washing machine, so that, instead of doing laundry, she could sit and use that time to read instead. So, yeah, we made Belle an inventor.
While the mere idea of Belle loving literature was enough to make most of the townspeople look down upon her in Disney's original Beauty and the Beast, the remake is taking that ball and rolling with it further. After all, when you've read as many books as Belle has, not only will you learn many skills, you may also form interesting ideas for inventions. It remains to be seen whether she's built other things beside that washing machine, but at least putting that contraption together gives her more time to flip through pages. It also sounds like this hasn't done anything to improve the townsfolk's opinion of Belle, but no one cares what they think.
Even though Belle is now the main inventor of the family in Beauty and the Beast, her father Maurice, played by Kevin Kline, is still quite the tinkerer. As you can see in the image located within the EW article, he has built her a number of music boxes. Because Maurice is so overprotective of his daughter and not wanting her to travel, he's made the boxes to provide a taste of what other areas of the world are like. Well, after so much time spent at her home and village, Belle will finally go on an adventure like the ones in her books when she finds herself trapped in a castle occupied a true Beast and other enchanted occupants.
Beauty and the Beast will be released in theaters on March 17, 2017.